Writing about the business of design

Welcome to a library of articles about the business of design.

You'll find articles about current research, our experience founding and managing a design studio and about insights uncovered during mentoring sessions with Australian designers.

The articles are released weekly via a news-packed EDM. Subscribe via the homepage

We don’t have time for design

We think that about half of all design-using businesses say they would like to make more use of design, but cost prevents them.

FYI Scenarios are replacing business plans

Clients are using scenarios to proactively plan for future events. They’re replacing business plans because it’s getting too hard to forecast with accuracy.

How to get more profit from each project

When times are tough and profits are low, raising your hourly rate is not the way to earn more. Instead, concentrate on selling your knowledge and expertise.

Is it time to merge?

Times are tough and profits are down, but we know it’s cyclical and good times will return. Why not use this downtime to question whether a merger would be good for you and your business?

What does the future of design look like

Our industry has come a long way in the past decade. We saw client service directors embedded in design agencies. This led to a discussion about strategy and we moved on from planning an output to strategies for outcomes.

When the government asks you to free pitch

The Victorian Government is asking designers to work for free – to free pitch. The Fair Work Commission clearly states working for free is unlawful. So why?

Why Australian design agencies are failing

as AI advances, clients will expect designers to reduce the hours spent on design. This will further undermine the financial viability of the time-and-materials business model.

Are you earning less?

This week’s article justifies that feeling that we’re all earning less than we were. It’s proof it’s not just about working smarter not harder, it’s about the bigger picture.

Measuring design impact

Design impact can be measured as part of the discovery process and a post mortem

Where is our industry headed?

The Australian design industry is not known for introspection. We talk to clients about ‘discovery’ and ‘insights’ but don’t do it for our industry

End of month financial checklist

This is an end of month checklist to help designers understand the financial side of their business — not to do the actual bookkeeping but to confidently brief someone else and understand what’s needed.

Incentives for creative teams

Incentives for creative teams start before employment with task descriptions, job descriptions and workflow

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